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Our Dogs

Share with fellow dog lovers!

The guiding force behind DogTipper (and our pet freelance writing) is definitely our dogs. The adoption of Tiki and Irie in 2008 inspired us to change careers from travel writing to pet writing. Today we share our home with Bärli and Isla, along with our three cats, and learn from them all each and every day.


On March 13, 2018, we adopted Bärli from the Hill Country SPCA in Fredericksburg, Texas. Named “Baby Bear” at the shelter, we named him Bärli (Little Bear), a reminder of the German heritage of Fredericksburg and all the fun times we’ve had with our dogs in that dog-friendly community. About five months old when we adopted him, Bärli had been waiting at the shelter for a forever home for three months but quickly adjusted to our home. Bärli loves walks, chews, sticks, swimming, his cats and walking in the woods.


On January 6, 2023, we adopted Isla from Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas. Isla was just nine weeks old when we adopted her but was already at her second shelter. Texas Humane Heroes specializes in saving adoptable pets from kill shelters around Texas; they had picked up Isla’s litter from animal control about an hour away where they’d been since the age of four weeks. We first spotted Isla in her kennel just yards from where we adopted Tiki nearly 15 years before. Today Isla loves balls, playing fetch, traveling and long (long!) walks.

Always In Our Hearts



We adopted Tiki in August 2008 from what is now Texas Humane Heroes. Tiki had been a stray dog. Since Irie was a shy dog, we went to the shelter looking for a very outgoing, happy dog that summer — and we found it in Tiki. Tiki absolutely loved to meet new people and new dogs. She loved traveling, eating at outdoor restaurants, and visiting new indoor locations, whether a store or a home. Tiki’s DNA test said she was mostly Poodle and Doberman, with lesser amounts Bulldog and Sheltie! We lost Tiki to lymphoma in November 2022, just three months shy of her 15th birthday.


Irie was adopted in February 2008 from the Bulverde Humane Society; she was six months old at the time (and had demodectic mange). Irie was named for a Jamaican patois word that means “all’s good.” Although she was an extremely shy dog when we first adopted her, Irie really blossomed and loved traveling with us and meeting new people. Irie’s DNA test said she was a mix of lab, coonhound, and German Shorthaired Pointer. Irie’s favorite things were treats and chews, taking long hikes, and playing in the water, whether that was on the beach, in our creek, or at the lake. We lost Irie to spleen cancer in March 2018 and miss her every day.

Our Cats

We also share our home with three cats: Jetty, Inca, and Lucky. You can read more about our cat crew over on CatTipper’s About page!